India’s farm production in the Kharif season could fall by 15-20 per cent due to poor monsoon that has resulted in drought situation in 252 districts in ten states, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday.

“For impact of production on the Kharif crop, exact quantum will be known only when the harvesting starts. But from the picture of sowing, one can easily estimate that there is likelihood of a shortfall to the extent of 15-20 per cent,” he said at a FICCI conference.

So far, 252 districts in ten States have been declared affected by drought, he said. “Drought is there, rainfall deficiency is to the extent of 26 per cent“. Till August 21, 246 districts were declared as drought affected, out of the 600-plus districts in the country.

Mr. Mukherjee said: “We have certain areas of concern like drought, inflationary pressure, government borrowing and its consequences on long term funding of corporate sector“. On August 19, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had said that rice production could fall by 10 million tonnes in Kharif (summer-sown crop) season. “Some shortfall in production of oilseeds and sugarcane is also expected,” he had said.

India produced 117.7 million tonnes of foodgrains in Kharif season last year, of which 84.58 million tonnes was rice.

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